LULAC Officially Rejects Its Leader’s Support For Trump Immigration Plan

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The fallout continues after the leader of a major Latino civil rights group wrote a letter praising President Trump’s immigration plan without sign-off from the group’s staff, board of directors, or general membership.

On Thursday at 1 a.m., the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) released an official statement rejecting President Roger Rocha’s letter endorsing the four “pillars” of Trump’s proposal, which Republicans in Congress had been publicly citing in attempts to pressure Democrats to vote for President Trump’s plan.

“We do not believe that the DREAM Act should be coupled with any additional border enforcement measures or the elimination of family visa categories, since the bill by itself represents the best of American values, and gives blameless young people the chance to succeed and contribute to our country,” wrote LULAC’s National Executive Committee. “For this reason, LULAC is adamantly opposed to President Trump’s recently released immigration framework which calls for $25 billion in US taxpayers’ money for an ineffectual wall between the US and Mexico, increased detention of immigrants, elimination of 5 out of the 7 categories of family-based immigration visas, and elimination of the diversity lottery visa program for underrepresented countries, among other draconian anti-immigrant policies.”

Where Rocha’s letter thanked President Trump for “taking the lead” on immigration reform, the official LULAC statement slams the President’s “hurtful, inaccurate, and inflammatory language toward immigrants and communities of color.”

It also notes that the current panic over the fate of 700,000 DACA recipients would not exist had Trump not chosen to terminate the program last year. “The President’s efforts to hold DREAMers hostage to these outrageous policies are reprehensible because he has manufactured the crisis himself,” the letter says.

LULAC’s CEO Brent Wilkes released his own statement on Thursday saying Rocha wrote to the White House “without consulting our staff nor board, as TPM had reported. Wilkes also wrote that Rocha’s praise of Trump’s immigration framework is “in clear contradiction to the policies voted on by our members.”

Wilkes said he was “deeply saddened and shocked” by Rocha’s move.

Rocha, for his part, has told reporters that he will retract his letter, which he says “was based on an earlier fact sheet the White House released and not a more recent one with proposals the group does not support.”

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